In looking at current and future trajectories for the tech space, the emerging trends carry significance for how enterprises formulate their IT strategies and how they use technology to facilitate growth. One current trend in IT is to take computing resources and equipment and deploy them in virtual spaces. As workloads migrate to cloud environments and networks become software-defined architectures, there is more emphasis than ever on moving away from the physical and toward the virtual, with the assurance that these kinds of IT infrastructures offer more in terms of cost savings, flexibility and scalability.

“IT departments can automate workload management, thereby increasing productivity.”

Storage, network, compute: Oh my!

The growing popularity of hyper-converged infrastructure is one result of this continued emphasis on virtual environments, cost savings and cloud-based tools. By taking network, storage and compute capabilities and deploying them all out of the same application controller, IT departments can automate workload management, thereby increasing productivity.

A recent Technology Business Research study estimated that the hyper-convergence market is going to see growth in the next few years. As of April 2016, hyper-convergence only accounted for 7 percent of the converged infrastructure space, but the experts at TBR predicted that it would expand to 32 percent market share by 2020, at a 50 percent compound annual growth rate — which will put it at a value of around $1.6 billion by that year.

Hybrid models becoming the go-to

Companies looking to make their IT departments more efficient and scalable are looking to hybrid architectures to make this happen, and hyper-converged infrastructure is one way to support hybrid IT. In effect, hybrid IT combines a cloud strategy with legacy infrastructure. Hyper-converged appliances can help make this kind of strategy a reality.

“This harmony between hyperscale infrastructure and emerging scale-out workloads will work to the enterprise’s favor, of course,” wrote Arthur Cole for ITBusinessEdge. “Traditional workloads will continue to function perfectly well on traditional infrastructure while the new stuff will run in sync with the new modular hardware.”

Basically, as cloud infrastructure and traditional computing models combine to form hybrid environments, hyper-converged appliances are going to be useful in facilitating that interaction between all parts of the IT strategy.

Deploying network, compute and storage capabilities via one application is becoming a viable option in the data center.Deploying network, compute and storage capabilities via one application is becoming a more popular option in the data center.

Growing with the cloud

As hyper-convergence becomes more popular and organizations begin to use these kinds of devices to combine their network, compute and storage applications into one interface, this draws attention to enterprises’ reliance on cloud infrastructure, as well. Cole wrote that the growth of hyper-convergence is closely related to other areas of digital business, such as big data, the Internet of Things and cloud computing. As enterprises seek to create more efficiency and flexibility within their computing environments, they’ll turn to these kinds of appliances in order to facilitate this model of hybrid IT.

Virtualization Review’s Chris Wolf reported that hyper-convergence isn’t just a fad and definitely isn’t a simple buzzword around the IT industry. Instead, hyper-converged infrastructure is the future of the data center, with organizations letting go of the conventional data center approach and focusing on how they can help their IT departments become more agile.